A Glimpse of Humanity at Its Best

There is something to be deeply learned by cultures who still do community well. Ubuntu! I recently came across this word. A South African word that speaks of humanity and compassion at its best. It is a realization that “I am who I am because of who we all are”.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes it this way:

 “It is the essence of being humanyou can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality Ubuntu you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

This makes me think that this must be what the early church was like described in Acts 2.

“Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to another, sharing communion and coming together regularly…All the believers were in fellowship as one body and they shared with one another whatever they had…They shared meals together with joyful hearts and tender humility. They were continually filled with praises to God, enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord kept adding to their numbers daily those who were coming to life” (verses 42-47, TPT).

Somewhere along the way we’ve lost the essence and innocence of Ubuntu! In a culture driven by success and every man/woman for himself/herself. A need to accomplish. A drive to be first. Being “the best” leaves no room for an “us”! Women are especially susceptible, as we have a great need to prove ourselves in this world. When fighting for our voices to be heard, somehow it never seems like there is ever enough room for us all. It always amazes me working as a counselor in a school how you can see it beginning—girls sabotaging other girls’ successes. Jealousy and envy spawn early. Till all that is left is a me vs. you mentality.

What if we truly are better together? What if what we are seeking is only found when intertwined as one? Having each other’s backs and cheering each other on is where the seeds of greatness are planted and nourished.

Too many times to count I’ve been tormented mentality by my inner critic. The voice of you are not enough, you’ve messed up one too many times, no one will accept you for who you are, no one cares about what you have to say. You’ve been there too. I know you have. We are all hurting and human just longing for someone to see the beauty in us and care.

I read where in certain South African cultures part of the practice of Ubuntu is to circle around a tribe member who did something wrong, and instead of pointing out the error they praise the good in them. For two full days, it is said that they unite to encourage the tribe member to reconnect with their true nature. Is this not just like the picture of our Father we are called to be image-bears of? I have found him to be my greatest cheerleader in the many moments that shame sought to sink its roots deep into my heart! He has always gently picked me up and pointed me back to the truth of who I am every time I’ve tripped and fallen into the dust.

What would our culture be like here in “eat or be eaten American”, if we only had half the tenacity to fight for each other’s greatness to be seen. “I have a dream…” to mirror the famous words of Martin Luther King a true advocate of counter-culturalism. I too want to dream big for a world where women can come together without feeling a need to hide or fake fine and speak life into each other’s souls. Where we see the good in each other, especially when one of us as has fallen and instead of secretly feeling a sense of relief that maybe there is room for me now, we help her rise again to even greater heights of beauty and glory.

This my dear sisters is the essence of what I feel called to create space for at Selah Ranch. A fireside cozy connected community of women who circle up around each other and fight for the greatness to spring forth in each heart. No longer accepting mediocrity. NO! Because we realize that great is the God who lives within us and together, we will ignite the “raging fire” of passion and love we are called to share with His world. This fire we are promised in Song of Songs 8:7 that “rivers of pain and persecution will never extinguish…{and} Endless floods will be unable to quench” (Song of Songs 8:7).

Hum, stop and ponder with me for a moment. What if we fully trusted God’s Word when it says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)?  What would we accomplish? I believe the result would be greater than any of us could ever have dreamt alone.


Be Bold ~ Be a Light




*image taken from https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/how-the-babemba-tribe-forgives/

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